Orange, Maple and Walnut Bread Pudding
8 slices Egg & Milk Loaf bread (can also use brioche), sliced into triangle halves
4 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup half and half (1:1 milk + cream)
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
zests of 1 orange
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup light brown sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon (to sprinkle over bread pudding before baking)
- Preheat oven to 350’F. Brush butter onto an oven/baking dish.
- Layer and overlap the bread slices in the buttered baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, maple syrup, sugar, half and half, melted butter, vanilla, orange zests, salt and walnuts.
- Pour the egg mixture over the arranged slices of bread in the baking dish. Let the bread soak up the egg mixture, about 30 minutes.
- Mix the light brown sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle the mixture over the unbaked bread pudding. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until bread pudding is puffed-up and golden.
- Serve warm.
Makes 5-6 servings
Buttermilk and Honey Biscuits
I have to admit, I am a bit shy about posting the recipe for these sweet biscuits, but because these biscuits came out so darn flaky, tender, buttery and scrumptious… I guess I have to be shameless.
Ingredients: Pre-heat oven at 375’F
4 cups Bisquick mix (yes, the pre-mixed pancake/waffle boxed mix)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 medium-size whole egg
1 Tablespoon honey
extra Bisquick mix or plain all-purpose flour (for dusting)
2 Tablespoons milk + 1 Tablespoon honey
(mix to brush the top of the biscuits before baking)
- Combine bisquick mix and baking powder in a mixing bowl, add cold cubed butter.
Work the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or
by rubbing your fingers against the flour and butter until mixture
resembles coarse medium crumbs.
- Mix buttermilk, egg and honey and beat with a fork until well combined.
Gradually add the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture in
the center of the mixing bowl, use a fork to gently incorporate the wet
and dry ingredients until mixture gathers into a soft (but not sticky and wet) dough.
If mixture is sticky, add 1-2 Tablespoons more of Bisquick or plain flour… just feel the dough :D
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, flatten the dough with the palm
of your hands (do not knead, overworking/kneading the dough will make the biscuits tough)
into a 1-inch disk.
- Using a 2-inch diameter round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds.
- Place cut dough (2 inches apart) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Combine the milk and honey. Using a pastry brush, paint the biscuit tops with the mixture.
- Bake biscuits for 15-18 minutes, or until tops are light golden brown.
- Serve fresh and hot out of the oven as is or spread with jam,
whipped or clotted cream or a drizzle of honey.
Makes 1 dozen
Mini Christmas Cakes
These little cakes are rich, moist and boozy with all the depth of maturity of traditional aged Christmas cake, only these are speedy, individually portioned and very cute. My collection of different kinds of baking tins became handy because I made 8 quarts of this cake batter. I made 24 of these mini bundt cakes for our Christmas party tomorrow, 6 mini loaves which I individually wrapped and placed in basket gift boxes to give to anyone who visits in our house and 1 big loaf to keep in the store cupboard for New Year’s Eve.
This Christmas cake version of mine starts with boozy dried fruits (soaked in brandy for 2 weeks) - dried currants, raisins, cherries and sultanas. Then I blitz all these alcohol-soaked dried fruit into a puree, I then add crushed pineapples and grated fresh ginger (just a small knob size). I also add a jar of really sharp orange marmalade, fresh lemon and orange zests, vanilla and cherry extract (this flavouring echoes the cherry-oak flavour of the brandy). Into the flour I mix in baking soda, cocoa powder (not to make the cake chocolatey but just so the cocoa echoes the spices) cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg and salt, then I mix in additional whole walnuts and the same mix of dried fruits (that was made into a puree). Cream the butter, muscovado sugar and whole eggs, add the boozy dried fruits-pineapple-orange marmalade mixture then fold-in the flour-fruit&nut mixture. Spoon cake batter into desired baking pans and bake. This cake is already boozy enough, but if you still prefer to brush the baked cake with brandy… by all means, this is the season of over-indulgence anyway.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Strawberry Crumble Tart
Anything that requires minimum effort with maximum YUM and gorgeousness will always be a winner to every cook and baker in any kitchen. I personally cringe and always get stressed-out whenever I have to compose or even eat a dish with so many darn components on a plate.
My style of cooking, presenting a dish and eating is, as much as I can, always with balance, symmetry and always with focus… that, or I am just a baker and a cook with OCD who also cannot multi-task (most likely, because whenever I remember that darn Tiramisu trio sampler I prepared and plated on my very last professional kitchen gig a few months ago, I still get a bit of a surge of adrenalin rush… darn pain-in-the-butt dessert that was!). Right, and anyway, it’s been ages since I shared a recipe here, so I figured, WTH… Why not write a simple tart recipe? and make use of my Homemade Strawberry Jam from last week’s post and this 2 year old picture of a Strawberry Crumble Tart I posted but never wrote the recipe (too lazy).
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cubed cold butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup strawberry preserve/jam(preferably not too sweet or less sugar variety)
- Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Work the cold cubes of butter into the flour mixture with the your fingertips or use a pastry cutter. When mixture resembles pea-size rubble, add the rolled oats.
- Divide the crumble mixture in half. Firmly press half of the mixture in 9-inch round cake tin.
- Evenly spread the strawberry preserve on the tart base.
- Sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture on top of the jam.
- Bake tart for 20-25 mins. in a 350’F oven until top of the crumble tart is light golden brown.
- Let tart slightly cool at room temperature before slicing.
- Serve with cream, strawberry coulis (optional) and slices of fresh strawberries.
Other filling suggestions that are YUM:
- Strawberry jam + peanut butter (reduce the amount of rolled oats into 1/2 cup in the crumble recipe and add 1/2 cup roasted chopped peanuts)
- Apricot preserve/jam + sultanas (golden raisins) + almond butter
- Cooked rhubarb pie filling
- Apple pie filling (home cooked or canned) or apple butter (add 1 teaspoon cinnamon in the crumble mixture)
- Orange marmalade + chopped pistachios (mix the chopped pistachios with the orange marmalade before spreading on the tart base.
This coming holiday season, I decided to start advertising my baked goods business as well as catering services online here on this new blog SCRUMPTIOUS by Goddess of Scrumptiousness [+follow] .
I will post my contact information (for orders and catering) and list of products here. I am still working on this page (as well as a Facebook page) but I will tremendously appreciate the support from any interested future clients or anyone who is kind enough to follow this page.
Thank you very much! :)
Maple and Almond Nut Tarts
Although this is my most requested pastry product by my customers, and that I always struggle with a virtue called patience, I sometimes loathe making this tart… actually it’s the pressing and moulding the sweet dough (tart shell) into mini muffin pans that always tests my patience and makes me go nutty with impatience.
But to those who are more blessed with this particular virtue, here is the recipe.
Sweet Dough (tart shell)
2 1/3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour (*spooned gently into measuring cup, do not tap or shake cup when measuring)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 whole egg
- In a food processor, pulse all sweet dough ingredients together until the dough comes together.
- Wrap dough in cling film, and chill for 30 minutes inside the fridge.
Maple and Almond Filling
2 large eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
4 cups coarsely chopped almonds (or you can also use slivered almonds)
- Mix all filling ingredients together and set the mixture aside.
- Preheat oven at 350’F
- You will need 4 mini (12-mould) muffin pans.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and scoop 1 tablespoon of dough into each mini muffin mould. Press dough and create a cylindrical indentation to hold the filling.
- Spoon filling in each prepared unbaked shells.
- Bake tarts for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Lift tarts from moulds 5 minutes after taking the pans out of the oven. Cool tarts on wire racks.
Makes 48 mini tarts
(Black Forest Cupcakes, Maple-Butterscotch Fudge, Spiced Carrot Birthday Cake)
I always believe that if you give anybody something in the form of sustenance, something edible and that they can genuinely enjoy by themselves or even share with their loved ones, relationships of any kind becomes more comfortable and bonding. I mean food is always in the centre of any gathering or occasion, and so in my personal opinion, a gift of food is the most sensible thing one can confidently give without any apprehension of it being returned or made into a dust collector the day after.
I do not need to write about how brilliant a box of Cupcakes is to give to anyone… a significant number of the world’s population with sweet tooth loves cake, it is individually portioned, therefore, instantly shareable, and cupcakes are always neither underdressed nor overdressed in any event or celebration.
Confections , specially those homemade and handmade are the perfect gifts for those people who you consider close and dear to you. It is something about the patience and thoughtfulness that were part of the process in making candy that suggests it should definitely be given only to those who also give kindness, patience and thoughtfulness in your life.
Old school and homemade Birthday Cake…
adlib: [Although September (ahem, the 12th) is my birthday month and I did made this homey birthday cake, for the record, I don’t think I have the guts to bake and give myself a birthday cake. If I were to wish for something to stick a wishing candle into, it will either be a 20-inch pizza (with all my favourite toppings plus extra extra cheese) or a jelly donut pyramid! Mmmmm…]
Call me old fashioned, even call me old, but I still believe that buttercream frosted birthday cake with retro buttercream flowers over retro buttercream vines and leaves is still the proper birthday cake… period!
And this old school (Spiced Carrot Cake) birthday cake is for my grandmother for her to stick her birthday candle tomorrow. :)
Dark Chocolate Chips and Banana Muffins
These muffins may sound so usual but these are very light yet moist, flavourful and generously studded with dark chocolate chips.
Never mind having these for breakfast… it’s actually more perfect as a midnight snack.
5 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
4 Tablespoons baking powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375’ F. Line 2 medium size muffin pans with cupcake paper liners.
- Sift first 6 of the dry ingredients 3 times then mix in the dark chocolate chips. Set aside.
- Beat all wet ingredients in another bowl then pour wet mixture over the dry mixture.
- Gently and quickly mix the batter. *Muffin and quickbread batters should always be lightly mixed, over-mixing this kind of batter will result to tougher and heavier muffins/quickbreads. A quick mixing and a lumpy batter is ideal since it makes muffins and quickbreads more lighter and tender.
- To get uniform size muffins, use an ice cream scooper (I used a regular large size scooper) and scoop batter onto prepared and lined muffin pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until muffins are lightly golden brown and when cake tester (or even a toothpick) inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack.
Makes 24 medium size muffins